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How do I know I'm doing the right thing?

Posted by: Anonymous
Mon 4, Dec 2017 at 12:01pm

I have a 4 month old son. His father and i are not together but are co-parenting as best we can. the relationship between us is strained and it is hard for us to spend time together.

His father uses drugs regularly on differing levels (cannabis daily and ketamine less frequently). At the moment i do not allow him to have our son on his own but have done in the past when he has told me he has not been using drugs and will not whilst caring for our son. I believe he would not use drugs whilst caring for our son but i don't know if i'm being naive. As our relationship has become more tense there is a pressure on my to allow him to have our son without me present. Currently this would be within my home or at his mothers with her present.

He is looking to get a house which would mean he could potentially ask to start having our son over night or for a weekend without me present. This concerns me as i have no control over this environment (non smoking, no dangerous substances within the premises)

Although we have not hit that point yet I want to know what the right thing is to do. Am i doing the right thing allowing access with me present and what should i do if he wants to have our son without me present and i have concerns about his drug use. I want him to have a relationship with his son, but i don't want to do the wrong thing when trying to encourage this.

I feel quite lost with this as all advice appears to talk about what would happen in or after court, i'd rather try and make this work without refusing access or going to court as this would just cause more friction and in the long run, pain for my child who loves his father.

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  • Pc jaybee (moderator) Flag

    I'm sorry to hear that you are having to agonise over the question of your son's safety at such an early age.
    You have clearly been doing a lot of thinking about it and you have what sounds like a very sensible plan in place - making use of the involvement of his grandmother should the need arise. In agreeing to do this, does this indicate that she shares your concerns about your ex's drug use?
    I'm sure you're right to enable your son to get to know his father in whatever way works for both you and your baby and provides a safe environment, (both physically and emotionally).
    It make sense to think about the possibility of having to remove yourself from being present during visits, wherever they take place. I can see that this might become the best thing for your son if the atmosphere is tense. Is your ex happy for you to be there? Where is the pressure to withdraw coming from?
    In the mean time, and while your son is so small, I want to encourage not to try anticipating too far ahead.

    Wed 6, Dec 2017 at 6:13pm
  • User-anonymous G Flag

    Yeah that makes sense. The pressure is from his dad. He thinks I’m being controlling by being there. I try my best to let him get on with it and not chip in but it happens and he finds it frustrating. We then go on to argue which isn’t the point. I know it would be best if I just took myself out of the situation.

    I just wouldn’t want to get down the line and find out that I’ve not done enough in terms of my duty of care. I guess I’ve got to do what feels right and hope for the best.

    Wed 6, Dec 2017 at 9:13pm
  • Pc jaybee (moderator) Flag

    It sounds to me like you're in a dilemma over whether you're being over-protective or not. But everything you've said so far suggests that you are putting your son's needs first, which is absolutely right.
    You haven't said anything further about his grandmother's involvement. She would seem to be an obvious person to step in so you can step back. How is your son with her and how confident about care of him?

    Sun 10, Dec 2017 at 5:20pm